Friday, July 29, 2011

Book Blogger Hop #4 (7/29/11)

Book Blogger Hop

"Book Blogger Hop" is a weekly social book blogger meme hosted by 


This week's question is:

“Highlight one book you have received this week (for review, from the library, purchased at the store, etc.) that you can’t wait to dig into!”


This week I finally got the three books I ordered nearly two months ago from Amazon.com! I had ordered a book that wasn't getting released until last Tuesday, so I had to wait for other two so they could all get shipped together.

The one book out of that group that I just can't wait to read is The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross. I read the first scene already (too excited), and I know I'm going to like this book... Yay! It's a steampunk novel set in late Victorian England about a girl with a sort of paranormal dark side to her that she can't control when it takes over her.... I'm loving steampunk these days and I've always loved historicals, not to mention characters with duality issues.

 *****

The Girl in the Steel Corset (Steampunk Chronicles, #1)
by Kady Cross

In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one except the "thing" inside her. When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no normal Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch... 

Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she's special, says she's one of them. The orphaned duke takes her in from the gaslit streets against the wishes of his band of misfits. Emily, who has her own special abilities and an unrequited love for Sam, who is part robot; and Jasper, an American cowboy with a shadowy secret. 

Griffin's investigating a criminal called The Machinist, the mastermind behind several recent crimes by automatons. Finley thinks she can help-and finally be a part of something, finally fit in. 
But The Machinist wants to tear Griff's little company of strays apart, and it isn't long before trust is tested on all sides. At least Finley knows whose side she's on, even if it seems no one believes her.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Review: Summer's Crossing by Julie Kagawa

"Summer's Crossing" (Iron Fey, #3.5)
by Julie Kagawa

Genre: Fantasy/Faeries
Reading Grade: Young Adult
Publishing Type: traditional
Publication Date: June 1, 2011
Source: Kindle store
Rated: Teen (13+)

A Midsummer's Nightmare? Robin Goodfellow. Puck. Summer Court prankster, King Oberon's right hand, bane of many a faery queen's existence—and secret friend to Prince Ash of the Winter Court. Until one girl's death came between them, and another girl stole both their hearts.

Now Ash has granted one favor too many and someone's come to collect, forcing the prince to a place he cannot go without Puck's help—into the heart of the Summer Court. And Puck faces the ultimate choice—betray Ash and possibly win the girl they both love, or help his former friend turned bitter enemy pull off a deception that no true faery prankster could possibly resist.

My Review

Puck is telling the story this time! This is huge. HUGE. And, most importantly, he's adorable while doing it, I might add. Oh, Puck. I've always favored His Royal Icy-ness over you, but now I can't think of why. You are just too funny and cute.

Anyway, needless to say, getting inside of Puck's head and seeing things from his POV is like eating the fluffiest, most sugary-sweet cake on your birthday while you're buried in oodles of expensive gifts given to you by all your favorite people in the world. It's nothing short of awesome. I want Puck to tell me more stories because now I am a much bigger fan!

And, existing Puck fans will not want to go on with life unaware of this short story's existence. Such a thing cannot be endured. Puck gets to be such a schemer in this story, truly living up to his reputation as the most notorious impish prankster. Brilliant. If you love him, you'll want to know more about what goes on in the heart and mind of this delightfully witty, charming character who has had people enchanted since Queen Elizabeth I (the First) was on the English throne… (for realz).

My score: 5 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Teaser Tuesdays #1 (7/26/11)



"Teaser Tuesdays" is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

1. Grab your current read.
2. Open to a random page.
3. Share two (2) teaser sentences from somewhere on that page.
4. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away. You don't want to spoil it for others.)
5. Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers.


My Teasers

 "I mean, he was very smart and to call him the cutest guy I've ever seen would be an understatement, so maybe I was harboring the tiniest fantasy that we might become BFFs or even decide to see a movie together, but I didn't actually expect those things to happen. Then, when he'd basically asked me to run away and become mortal with him, needless to say I thought I was being punked."

-  from page 102, Jane Jones: Worst. Vampire. Ever. by Caissie St. Onge

*****

For Jane Jones, being a vampire is nothing like you read about in books. In fact, it kind of sucks. She's not beautiful, she's not rich, and she doesn't "sparkle." She's just an average, slightly nerdy girl from an ordinary suburban family (who happens to be vampires.) Jane's from the wrong side of the tracks (not to mention stuck in the world's longest awkward phase), so she doesn't fit in with the cool vampire kids at school or with the humans kids. To top it all off, she's battling an overprotective mom, a clique of high school mean girls (the kind who really do have fangs), and the most embarrassing allergy in the history of the undead, she's blood intolerant. 

So no one's more surprised than Jane when for the first time in her life, things start to heat up (as much as they can for a walking corpse, anyway) with not one, but two boys. Eli's a geeky, but cute real-live boy in her history class, and Timothy is a beautiful, brooding bloodsucker, who might just hold the key to a possible "cure" for vampirism. Facing an eternity of high school pressure, fumbling first dates, or a mere lifetime together with Timothy, what's a 90-something year-old teen vampire to do?

Review: The Soulkeepers by G.P. Ching

The Soulkeepers (The Soulkeepers, #1)
by G.P. Ching

Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Reading Grade: Young Adult
Publishing Type: self-published
Publication Date: March 17, 2011
Source: Kindle store purchase
Rated: Teen (13+)

The night sexy and mysterious Abigail Silva comes to Jacob Lau's bedroom window, he doesn't believe she's real let alone a supernatural force who lives just across the street. Abigail says she's his Helper sent to train him as a Soulkeeper, a gifted warrior responsible for protecting human souls. But Abigail has secrets, and as Jacob is pulled into her strange world, he learns those secrets could cost him his family, his girlfriend, and even his soul. 

My Review

What a great story! The Soulkeepers revolves around half-Chinese/half-Caucasian Jacob Lau, a teenager living alone with his mother on the island of Oahu. He suddenly wakes up in a hospital after having a near-death experience, and afterward, his mother goes missing. Now apparently orphaned, an uncle he has never met takes young Jacob home to a rural town in Illinois called Paris (ironically nothing at all like the famous city in France).

Across the street from his uncle's house lives Dr. Abigail Silva, a strange, but uber beautiful woman who eventually tells Jacob all about his true identity. He is a Soulkeeper, a descendant of God who has special abilities to manipulate the elements in order to protect the souls of mankind on Earth.

I love how cleverly the Judeo-Christian mythos is weaved into the story to explain what Soulkeepers are and how they came to be. Jacob doesn't even believe in God, as he is a sort of atheist, but that which the Old Testament claims just keeps coming to pass all throughout the story in unique ways. All of the supernatural gets explained by what is contained mostly in the book of Genesis and it's all very fascinating.

Jacob is realistically written and easy to sympathize with, as is Malini, his best friend. I liked Dr. Silva, and discovering her back-story and that of her super intelligent cat, Gideon, helped turn both of them into some riveting characters. We discover the mystery surrounding Jacob's mother, but there is also a mystery surrounding his deceased father and his family. I get the feeling what little was explained in this volume is not the true extent of it. I'm sure there's more to the Laudner family than meets the eye, so I'm looking forward to the next book to see what will be revealed.

Besides having a winning cover (Jacob is gorgeous!), The Soulkeepers casts well-developed characters in a plot that naturally and gradually unfolds its mysteries over the course of the story just perfectly, leaving the reader wanting to uncover more and more. Book 2 is planned for a September 15, 2011 release.

My score: 4.5 out of 5 stars.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Book Haul #8 (7/25/11)

I'd say this was a good week for me and my book hauls! Next week should be, too...

I decided to go back to hitting up my local library for some titles I've yet to read, and feel too anxious about purchasing. I hate buying a book I end up hating after I read it, so the library saves me from that possible commitment. Plus, they have some books on CD and audiobooks rule!


From the Library


City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)
by Cassandra Clare

Format: audio CD


I know, I know. How could I have NOT read this book already? I must be insane. It's only because I've been afraid I'd not like it, but I knew I'd just have to borrow it from the library one of these days so I could see if I actually would like it, or not. And, I can give my tired eyes a break and just listen to it. Sounds good to me.

Infinity (The Chronicles of Nick, #1)
by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Format: paperback


I've been wanting to read this book for a while now, and I know a little bit about The Dark-Hunter series by the same author. I just hope for some good characters.


Jane Jones: Worst. Vampire. Ever.
by Caissie St. Onge

Format: paperback


I've already starting read this and it is totally funny so far! I like stories like this that poke fun at the current popular perception of vampires and vampire lore.



From The Book Depository



Format: paperback


This brand new series looks really, really promising as it has a lot of elements in it that make me want to read it: historical, western, steampunk, paranormal, fantasy, a super hunky male lead as is evidenced by the super hunky male on the cover... I'm not sure it's missing anything from my perspective.

Hounded (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #1)
by Kevin Hearne

Format: mass market paperback


This series has been blasting off into the stratosphere of popularity lately! Before I realized this, I read Kevin Hearne's prequel short story to this book, "Clan Rathskeller", which is free over on Goodreads.com, and it was super funny and awesome. It sold me on the idea of buying the first book, so, naturally, I did. So far, there are three books out in this series. They are getting released like hotcakes!

That's it for me this week. What books did you all haul in?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Book Blogger Hop #3 (7/22/11)


"Book Blogger Hop" is a book blogger meme hosted by Jen @ Crazy-For-Books.


This week's question:

What’s the ONE GENRE that you wish you could get into, but just can’t?


 My answer:

I would have to say just regular contemporary fiction without any fantasy, sci-fi, or paranormal elements. Just total realism-type fiction. It's not that I'm saying I never read books like this. I actually loved Mindi Scott's Freefall and Lucy Christopher's Stolen. I am a huge fan of Jane Austen who wrote completely realistic fiction for her time, which is like historical Regency fiction for us today.

But, there's something about reading about some woman's nasty divorce, or some high school girl's low self-esteem that can turn me off to the story if I'm not loving the characters, or drawn in by a unique premise. I just want to read fiction that takes me AWAY from the realistic stuff that happens in sucky everyday life.

I do completely admire anyone who loves to read the realistic stuff that deals with the nitty-gritty sucky stuff of life. I wish I could get into this genre for more than just the few most stand-out titles, but, I simply can't make my brain like it enough.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Graphic Novel Review: Kin by Holly Black

Kin (The Good Neighbors, #1)
by Holly Black; Ted Naifeh (Illustrator)

Genre: Paranormal/Faery Graphic Novel
Reading Grade: YA
Publishing Type: traditional
Publication Date: October 2008
Source: public library
Rated: Teen (13+)

Rue Silver's mother has disappeared . . . and her father has been arrested, suspected of killing her. But it's not as straightforward as that. Because Rue is a faerie, like her mother was. And her father didn't kill her mother—instead, he broke a promise to Rue's faerie king grandfather, which caused Rue's mother to be flung back to the faerie world. Now Rue must go to save her—and must also defeat a dark faerie that threatens our very mortal world.

My Review

Rue Silver is your garden-variety goth teenager who thinks she's just another normal human being. But, when her mother suddenly disappears, she starts to notice that a lot of people look odd to her. They have horns, pointy ears, leafy skin. No one else sees this but her. Soon she discovers that her mother is a faerie and that her father is considered the suspect in her murder. Rue believes her father is innocent and tries to go about finding evidence to support her case, all the while discovering her own unique heritage.

When I first started to read this graphic novel, I was liking it. I got about halfway through it and it seemed interesting. I don't like the art all that much because the artist makes all the teenagers look like they're in their forties, but he draws the faeries extremely well, so that might be why he was hired for the job. But, what started to bother me when I finished up the story was how it got a bit too confusing with the comic panels.

I was confused about the story for a while, too, but it was cleared up as I finished it. The story is interesting and it's more paranormal than fantasy in that the faerie realm is beginning to encroach upon the normal human world, and the protagonist, Rue, is totally unaware of it all before the start of the story. But, something about it felt too weird for me. Maybe I just couldn't get past the artwork—I don't know! I wish I could put my finger on it, but it didn't jibe super well with me. Still, I liked it.

Although, if I were a fan of Holly Black's works (author of The Spiderwick Chronicles), I wouldn't want to pass this up. Definitely check out this graphic novel if you love her existing novels. And, those who love anything 'faerie' or 'fairy'—well, you might like this, too. I think it has a unique twist on the faerie/fairy realm. The ones presented in this book are quite dangerous and not very sympathetic to humans. They're kind of 'dark' faeries, in my opinion, and if that sounds great to you, then give this graphic novel a go.

My score: 3 out of 5 stars
 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

WWW Wednesdays #1 (7/20/11)


"WWW Wednesdays" is a weekly book blogger meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading

To play along, just answer the following THREE questions...

                       1. What are you currently reading?
                       2. What did you recently finish reading?
                       3. What do you think you'll read next?

My answers to these questions...


1. I am currently reading Imperium by Nicholas Olivo. He asked me if I wanted to review his book for him and I said "sure". It's an urban fantasy about a guy who is pretty much a god and an agent who hunts paranormal creatures in Boston. So far, it's really well-written and interesting.






2. I recently finished (just before starting Imperium), "Flash Gold" by Lindsay Buroker. This isn't a paranormal nor fantasy title, but it IS a really fantastic little steampunk short story. I loved the characters in this. I've been following Lindsay's self-publishing blog for a while now and who knew this lady could write fiction so well??





3. I will very likely get started (finally!) on reading The Greyfriar (Vampire Empire, #1) by Clay & Susan Griffith next, since I've been trying to find time for this novel since I bought it for my Kindle. I am SO excited!






Leave me a comment about what your "WWW Wednesdays" answers are for this week!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Review: Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1)
by Maggie Stiefvater

Genre: Paranormal Romance/Werewolf
Reading Grade: Young Adult
Publishing Type: traditional
Publication Date: August 1, 2009
Rated: Teen (13+)

Grace and Sam share a kinship so close they could be lovers or siblings. But they also share a problem. When the temperature slips towards freezing, Sam reverts to his wolf identity and must retreat into the woods to protect his pack. He worries that eventually his human side will fade away and he will left howling alone at the lonely moon. A stirring supernatural teen romance.

My Review

I downloaded the audiobook version of this novel from AudiobookSync.com and couldn't wait to listen to it. Glad I didn't hesitate. I was kind of leary about whether or not I'd like it, since I could tell the writing was sort of “flowery”, and I'm not a big fan of that. But, this book turned out to be fan-freaking-tastic! I fell into the story so quickly and easily, as if I were right there experiencing the entire saga with the characters. Everything came to life in my mind. I love when I have that type of experience with a story.

I also feel the shifting first-person POV between the two main characters, Grace and Sam, worked very well. I realize now that I like books that do this, although I haven't read very many that do. You get to see the story through both their eyes all along the way, and they are very convincingly different from each other—another reason this worked so well. The voice actors were magnificent and sounded exactly like how the characters should sound, age-wise and personality-wise.

I ended up falling in love with the premise of this book after getting into it because of how cleverly it deals with what is so seemingly cliché: teen girl falls in love with paranormal teen boy. That general idea sounds super boring and overdone nowadays, but this book makes it so new and fresh again, unlike any other take on it before. It's the natural way the characters come to know each other and fall in love that makes it work. The author mentions in a Q&A at the end of the audiobook that she wrote these two characters doing and saying what came naturally for them, not forcibly writing them into a set plot. It shows, and it's just brilliant.

Grace and Sam are wonderful characters, neither quirky nor unusual, but very realistic. That realism is what grabbed me because that's what I feel is necessary for a paranormal novel to succeed—the paranormal invades the real world in some small or large way, but it always seems as realistic as possible. Shiver succeeds wildly at this and I'm sure that had mostly to do with why I loved it so much. So glad there's two more books in this series to read...

My score: 5 out of 5 stars

Monday, July 18, 2011

Book Haul #7 (7/18/11)

Wherein I blog about what books I got in the past week...


Revenge of the Witch (The Last Apprentice, #1) 
by Joseph Delaney

Amazon.com

For decades, Old Gregory has been the county's resident Spook and protector; but now his time is coming to a close. To replace this aging guardian against evil, 30 apprentices are tested. Twenty-nine of them fail; some flounder; some flee; some even perish during the trial. Only one remains: Thomas Ward. Timid and uncertain, he worries that he might not pass his test or perhaps not even survive. Joseph Delaney's suspenseful second novel has pulse-raising potential for middle-grade readers.

I got this for free from AudiobookSync.com because they're giving away free YA audiobook titles all summer long, and this title seemed interesting to me.  


Kin (The Good Neighbors, #1)
by Holly Black; Ted Naifeh (illustrator)
Amazon.com

Rue Silver's mother has disappeared . . . and her father has been arrested, suspected of killing her. But it's not as straightforward as that. Because Rue is a faerie, like her mother was. And her father didn't kill her mother -- instead, he broke a promise to Rue's faerie king grandfather, which caused Rue's mother to be flung back to the faerie world. Now Rue must go to save her -- and must also defeat a dark faerie that threatens our very mortal world.

I checked this out at my local library since I was trying to find graphic novel titles to read. Since this story is by Holly Black, I figured it would be interesting to read a graphic-novel-only title by her.


Ascend (Trylle Trilogy, #3)
by Amanda Hocking 

Amazon.com

With a war looming on the horizon, Wendy’s fate seems sealed.

But everything she sacrificed might be in vain if she can’t save the ones she loves.

Her whole life has been leading up to this, and it’s all coming to an end.

I like Amanda Hocking's Trylle Trilogy, so I had to get the last e-book in the series before she takes it off sale. It'll be back on sale next year sometime when it gets traditionally published by St. Martin's Press, but the e-book versions will be more expensive than they are right now.


Ethereal (Celestra, #1)
by Addison Moore 

Amazon.com

Skyla Messenger is a dead girl walking... When her newly remarried mother moves the family to Paragon Island, to a house that is rumored to be haunted, Skyla finds refuge in Logan Oliver, a boy who shares her unique ability to read minds. Skyla discovers Logan holds the answers to the questions she’s been looking for, but Logan’s reluctance to give her the knowledge she desires leaves her believing Logan has a few secrets of his own. Skyla’s bloodlines may just be connected to the most powerful angelic beings that roam the earth, and the more she knows, the more danger she seems to be in. Suddenly an entire faction of earthbound angels wants her dead, at least she still has Logan, or does she?

People are sort of raving over this series, which makes me really curious, so I bought it through the Kindle store. Looks to be another indie author hit series.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Review: Things to Do in Denver When You're Un-Dead by Mark E. Stone

Things to Do in Denver When You're Un-Dead
by Mark Everett Stone

Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal
Reading Grade: Adult
Publishing Type: traditional small press
Publication Date: July 15, 2011
Source: ARC from Camel Press (publisher)
Rated: Older Teen (15+)

For ten years Kal Hakala has been the Bureau of Supernatural Investigation's top man, the longest surviving agent in its blood-soaked history. There has been no case he couldn't crack, no monster he couldn't kill. Until a plague of zombies in Denver turns into an investigation of a vicious serial killer dubbed The Organ Donor. Fueled by rage and a hatred of all things supernatural, he dives headlong into the one mystery that could finally kill him. 

My Review

I received this title as an Advanced Reader Copy from the publisher, as requested by them, in exchange for a review. 

I'll admit, I thought this was going to be a comedy, based on the title alone, but it really doesn't have as much humor in it as I expected. It does have some humor, but it's not what I would consider a “comedy”. It's a bit serious, but not overly so. 

I really liked how this story explains why certain inspirational and genius people in history were able to do the amazing things they did. It was because they used magic from the World Under, which is a separate realm from our known world where supernatural beings are from. When the magic is not being misused (but it mostly is and that's why Kal has a great-paying job killing rogue supernaturals), it is being used by famous historical people to effectuate much needed change, develop technology, etc. Or, it's being used by Kal's magician sidekick, Alex, who is smarter than a sack of Einsteins.

Alex, wearing his trademark “birth control” nerd glasses, ended up being my favorite character along with his buddy Ghost, who is a creepy cyberspace-dwelling ghoul that can hack into literally ANYTHING encrypted like melted butter. He's the guy you want on your side. Ghost's origin story is very fascinating, but I only wish it hadn't been saved for the very very end. 

Alas, I did feel this novel was riddled with too many cliches that bogged it down. Sure, Dirty Harry spouted off cliches in his movies, but they only became cliches after his movies became big hits. Kal could have started his own original sayings, but every other sentence was something I've heard uttered a million times before. This kind of made me not like him as much as I probably could have. But, he was fairly well-developed and the reader finds out what motivates him from oodles of back-story.

Speaking of back-story, the other sort of off-putting issue was with the constant flashback chapters. Some are fine if they are appropriately placed within the plot. But, I found not only were they scattered throughout, even placed at the very end of the novel, they were often not particularly illuminating. It seemed like a few were completely unnecessary, or just didn't give me the info on the characters I was expecting they would deliver.

But, back to what I liked for a moment to wrap up my review: the end. The ending was very good and completely unexpected. In the last chapter I never expected what was coming and double that for the surprise happening in the epilogue. It was very fitting and satisfying, although the story preceding it needed to be edited better. Still, this story was decently written. Fans of urban fantasy starring characters like Kal Hakala might enjoy this title. 

My score: 3 out of 5 stars


Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Strange Case of Finley Jayne by Kady Cross

I am doing a regular feature on my blog every Thursday (or just about every Thursday) where I will review short stories, mangas, or graphic novels that make for very brief reading.


"The Strange Case of Finley Jayne" (Steampunk Chronicles, #0.5)
by Kady Cross

Genre: Steampunk, Paranormal
Reading Grade: YA
Publishing Type: traditional
Publication Date: May 1, 2011
Source: Kindle Store (freebie)
Rated: Teen (13+)

Finley Jayne knows she's not 'normal'. Normal girls don't lose time, or have something inside them that makes them capable of remarkably violent things. Her behavior has already cost her one job, so when she's offered the lofty position of companion to Phoebe, a debutante recently engaged to Lord Vincent, she accepts, despite having no experience. Lord Vincent is a man of science with his automatons and inventions, but Finley is suspicious of his motives where Phoebe is concerned. She will do anything to protect her new friend, but what she discovers is even more monstrous than anything she could have imagined… 

My Review

I'll just say, I wasn't expecting this short story to be quite as engaging and exciting as it turned out to be. This is a prequel to the Steampunk Chronicles series, which starts with, technically this book, and then on to The Girl in the Steel Corset, which is Book 1. The reason a 'steampunk' novella ended up getting a review on this blog is because it nicely weaves in some “paranormalcy” into its main character, Finley Jayne.

Finley Jayne doesn't know what she is and why she's so dang strong, stronger than any human ought to be. She's very durable and can leap over walls like they were short hedges. She can take out grown men like whacking weeds, for cryin' out loud. Freaking awesome! All the while, she has a great head on her shoulders, being of the working class in late 19th century London. She even gets to attend a fancy ball, and wear luscious Victorian gowns. We readers get to see all the steampunk technology, like mechanical horses and metal automatons, all invented by an unscrupulous scientist. It has so many elements I want in a story (I have a major weakness for mad scientists!).

Finley gets treated very horribly by her employer at the beginning, then it all turns around after that when her strange and terrifying gifts are actually sought after and appreciated by others, rather than scorned. I enjoyed her as a very likable heroine. I found myself wanting to be like her, have her incredible physical abilities. I only wish the main villain character had been a bit more interesting, but he did suffice. (I always want my villains to be more interesting!)

The events in this story apparently have no bearing on the future plot of the novels that come afterward, so the fact that all the ties Finley has to the other characters get lopped off in the end was appropriate. Read this if you want a very inexpensive taste of what the author has to offer in this series. Even if the plot doesn't continue beyond this little e-book, you'll know whether or not you'll want to invest in this novel series. I know definitely I do ….

My score: 5 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Queen (Iron Fey, #3)
by Julie Kagawa

Genre: Fantasy/Faerie
Reading Grade: Young Adult
Publication Date: January 25, 2011
Source: local library
Rated: Teen (13+)

My name is Meghan Chase. 

I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who's sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I'm not sure anyone can survive it. 

This time, there will be no turning back.



My Review

These books just keep getting better and better! This volume of The Iron Fey series is the BEST so far. Julie Kagawa's writing improves with each new book, as does her story-telling, both of which are fantastic. This book blends the best of action and violence with lots of romance. Lots! This is why I LOVE this book (and the entire series). And—oh my—how it ends … o_o No Mary-Sues here, no way.

The main characters are more interesting, more fleshed out in this volume. They've been able to develop as characters more than ever. Their relationships with each other become so real, so tangible. I admit, I ship Ash with Meghan, but it's not like I have a problem with Puck and Meghan together. That's what is so great about these two leading men. I love them both! They are great foils to each other—great contrasts—and both have different things to offer that make them so fun. I could go either way, really (but, I'm rooting for Ash).

I won't mince words and just say that I fell in love with Ash so much more in this volume. We get to see a side of him that has never been revealed in any of the previous books. He really does have a warm, sweet side to him (for Meghan!). Okay, he's not a perfect guy, but he doesn't need to be. He has a very flawed past, but that's the way I like my leading male characters. They seem more human, easy to relate to that way. He is simply one of my favorite fictional characters now, along with Meghan and Puck, of course.

I cannot wait for The Iron Knight to come out! Cannot wait at all. The Ice-Boy cometh. (That might make a good tag-line for it.) It's a book all about Ashy-poo... Are you kiddin' me? I'm going into a self-induced coma until October just so I don't have to suffer so much while waiting…. *konk*

My score: 5 out of 5 stars (Obviously!) 
 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Book Haul #6

What did I get this past week this time?


The Goddess Test (Goddess Test, #1)
by Aimee Carter

Amazon.com

Source: purchased paperback

It's always been just Kate and her mom—and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won't live past the fall. Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld—and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.

Kate is sure he's crazy—until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride, and a goddess.

I found this super cheap on Walmart.com, so I snatched it up real quick. This was getting a lot of hype prior to its release, so I hope it lives up to it somewhat when I dive into it.


The Strange Case of Finley Jayne (Steampunk Chronicles, #0.5)
by Kady Cross

Amazon.com

Source: purchase on Kindle

Finley Jayne knows she's not 'normal'. Normal girls don't lose time, or have something inside them that makes them capable of remarkably violent things. Her behavior has already cost her one job, so when she's offered the lofty position of companion to Phoebe, a debutante recently engaged to Lord Vincent, she accepts, despite having no experience. Lord Vincent is a man of science with his automatons and inventions, but Finley is suspicious of his motives where Phoebe is concerned. She will do anything to protect her new friend, but what she discovers is even more monstrous than anything she could have imagined…

An ebook exclusive prequel to The Steampunk Chronicles.

I've already read this short story prequel and didn't expect much, but totally loved it! I've got the first book in the Steampunk Chronicles on the way and can't wait to read that, too...


Imperium: A Caulborn Novel 
by Nicholas Olivo

Amazon.com

Source: review copy from author

Vincent Corinthos leads a triple life. As a secret agent, he handles paranormal threats; as a god, he protects his followers from evil forces; as a stock clerk, he keeps the back room of an antique store tidy.

When one of his fellow agents goes missing, Vincent begins with the usual suspects. His investigation takes him to vampire lairs, golem laboratories, and the realm of the fae. Along the way he squares off against genetically modified gremlins, virus-spawned zombies and a horseman of the Apocalypse.

But it's only when he infiltrates a private medical lab that he realizes just how big of a threat he's facing, and even being a god might not be enough of an edge...

I received this from the author when he requested that I review it. I had no knowledge of this title beforehand, but I'm glad I know now because it sounds really interesting. And, this cover... I love it!

Cover Reveal: Weaving Destiny (Soulkeepers, #2)

Time for the cover reveal of the second book in The Soulkeepers novel series by G.P. Ching!



WOW! Gorgeous, isn't it? The Soulkeepers is one of those indie author series I'm dying to have time for because it looks so interesting and fun. I've read some of the first chapter of the first book and I could tell right away that it starts out very strong.

My plan is to, of course, have it read before I receive my ARC of the second book and have my review of it ready on release day. Until then, there are TWO gorgeous covers to completely drool over....



Weaving Destiny
Coming Fall 2011

Malini Gupta thought Jacob Lau was her destiny, that they were meant to be together. But after months of failing to decipher how she fits into the Soulkeepers, frustration threatens to tear their relationship apart. As does a new Soulkeeper named Mara who is ready to stop time itself to earn Jacob's love. 

When Malini faces her worst fears and even death, she learns a funny thing about destiny; nobody said hers couldn't change. The future is a tapestry of choices, and she's about to weave hers.


G.P. Ching Short Bio

G.P. Ching is an award-winning short fiction writer turned novelist and co-founder of DarkSide Publishing. She lives in Illinois with her husband, two daughters, and a very demanding guinea pig. Her first novel, The Soulkeepers, is currently the #1 top rated book in its category on Amazon.

Learn more about G.P. at www.gpching.com
Learn more about The Soulkeepers at www.TheSoulkeepersSeries.com
Learn more about DarkSide Publishing at www.DarkSidePublishing.com


About The Cover

Adam Bedore of Anjin Design creates all of the covers for The Soulkeepers series. Adam uses a special technique to build depth, emotion, and a little mystery into the art. It is truly multi-dimensional. This cover features Malini wearing the same red stone from book one. You will also notice a tapestry design shadowed in the background that plays an important role in the story.

Learn more about the artist at www.anjindesign.com

Friday, July 8, 2011

Follow Friday #1





"Follow Friday" is a book blogger meme hosted by Rachel @ Parajunkee

This week's question is:

Let's step away from "besties"... What is the worst book you've ever read and finished?


The worst book I ever read and finished would have to be Moll Flanders by Daniel Dafoe. Moll Flanders is the name of the protagonist, the character the story is all about, and she is just the most selfish annoying character ever created! Well, she's one of the worst I've read about, anyway. I had to read the novel in a college course on 18th century British novels and it is one of the oldest ones. No paragraph breaks, no chapter breaks, no quotation marks around dialogue, no dialogue tags. It was a real mess since the above innovations hadn't been discovered by the British just yet.

Since she was a prostitute, perhaps that was how she could justifiably be so selfish and stupid, but I still like my protags to be less irritating. 


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